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My Isl@m: How Fundamentalism Stole My Mind - And Doubt Freed My Soul

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Amir Ahmad Nasr is a young Muslim man with something explosive in his hands: a computer connected to the Internet. And it has the power to help ignite a revolution and blow apart the structures of ignorance and politicized indoctrination that too often still imprison the Muslim mind.

Part memoir, part passionate call for liberty, reason and doing work that matters, My Isl@m
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by St. Martin's Press
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3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  133 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Rating: 2.5 stars

I won this book in a First Reads giveaway back in February, and only now managed to find some time to read it (incidentally, right after finishing Salman Rushdie’s memoir).

My Isl@m details Nasr’s “evolution” from a devout and unquestioning Muslim to a rabid atheist and, finally, to a Sufi devotee.

I’m generally not a fan of people who “re-embrace” (or, as Nasr, puts it, merely “embrace,” because, having been born into Islam, he hadn’t actually embraced the religion in the first
Feb 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
I very rarely do not finish a book, and this was a book I finished about halfway and then simply couldn't bring myself back to finishing it. I thought the book, based on the title, would be about a Muslim's experience with fundamentalism, and then a return to "the Middle Path." Instead I found this book mostly about the author's experiences with online Islam, and his relationship with the online world. If you are Muslim, and familiar with the multiple Muslim websites/groups/communities online, t ...more
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received a free advanced reader copy of My Isl@m from a GoodReads giveaway, and am so happy that I had the opportunity to read this engaging memoir by Sudanese blogger and activist, Amir Ahmad Nasr. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Amir's journey from his boyhood in Qatar to his long struggle and eventual reconciliation with his faith in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Some readers may find some of this struggle to be repetitive and frustrating, wondering when he is going to get over it. However, I think ...more
I literally regret reading this book.

It's a trainwreck of a book about Islam. So much prosaic internal monologue and grandiosity. The writing style is so self-aggrandizing.

He was never an Islamic fundamentalist like the book promotes; he was just raised in a conservative Islamic environment as a CHILD. It's basically a history of his life through blogging and he has this strange propensity for the worst views on Islam and other things.

He believes in conspiracy theories about how al-Ghazali sin
Ruth Charchian
Jan 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: memoir
This was an interesting read. Nasr clearly left out the much more controversial aspects of his falling away from Islam; what it meant to become an infidel and Shariah law. This was, therefore, to the unsuspecting, uninformed person a dishonest, craftily written, bluff bent on persuading the reader that Islam is a peaceful religion. I don't doubt his struggle with it over the years or his struggle with religion. That was undoubtedly difficult.

I don't want to give away the ending. If you pick up
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
The writing was a little amateurish at times but overall was clearly and honestly written. The book was about more than the author's struggle with his faith; it was also about how he got involved in expressing his views about Islam and politics and promoting reform and change through social media and the Internet (the clue is in the "@" in the word "Islam"). He includes a lot of information about how the Arab Spring of 2011 came about and who the key players were in the digital world. He also in ...more
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I won this as a Goodreads giveaway. I thought this book was amazing and is a must read for anyone analyzing their religious beliefs. The story of development of a young man's search for religious truths. As with most of us, the more you learn, the more you question, the more you need to read, the more you question. The book also helps you understand the changes going on in the middle east. Read this book.
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
A memoir from a Sudanese Muslim who became a vocal blogger and began to question his faith. It's a fascinating exploration of faith, Islam and the current age. But it also gets bogged down in unimportant details. It's a helpful glimpse into the Muslim mind, but it wasn't as engaging as I'd hoped.
Jan 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
I wanted to read something else but I was very disappointing in this book. I didn't know I signed up for this book
Nov 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I liked the premise; the execution was harder to read. Much too florid and interior monologue for me.
Fred Kohn
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a thoroughly engaging account of a young man's journey from his conservative Islamic upbringing through doubt and anger at his native religion and his final rediscovery of the beautiful side of religion. Woven through this tapestry are wonderful glimpses into the political thinking of all kinds of Muslims. The author is an experienced writer and blogger and he uses his literary gifts marvelously. For example:

'It was a dark and humid December night close to 12 A.M. I stepped outside and w
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think this book should be a must read for high school and college students. Everyone else should read it too, but I think it should be required reading in schools. It may be too controversial to make it in high schools, which is sad, because I think that high school students would benefit from reading it - I recommend it for grades 11 and 12 and totally definitely for college.
The book in an intriguing and interesting story of how Amir, a Sudanese Arab living in Malaysia, entered the blog spher
Charlie Hersh
A really incredible read. The lengths Nasr has gone to reconcile his past, his ambitions, and his beliefs are phenomenal, and especially the way he lays out his past prejudices (eg anti-Semitism, homophobia) and details how he got over them gives me a lot of hope for others who are raised in traditions of hateful propaganda. I really loved the journey of his spiritual growth, as someone who is at the age to be having a lot of similar concerns (though admittedly from a completely completely diffe ...more
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone. Seriously, everyone.
READ THIS BOOK. If you are a living, conscious human being walking upon this earth in this day and age, read this book. If you are a fundamentalist anything, if you are an avowed atheist, if you are a doubting agnostic, if you are someone who has never question the faith in which you were raised, read this book. Amir Ahmad Nasr's journey of faith and understanding is brilliant, life-affirming, human, and beautiful. He helps one to better understand world conflicts and international relations, an ...more
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
A story of how a young boy growing up in a liberal Muslim family started questioning his faith and his society, found freedom through the internet, and was part of the international blogging community that brought about the Arab Spring, toppling dictatorships across the Arab world.
A search for identity, meaning, and finally the truth. All of us are born with a belief and most of us continue with the same, some in the middle of the way change what they were believing in and some they remain on t
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Ein intelligentes, interessantes und nachdenklich stimmendes Buch. Viele Botschaften, die der Autor mit dem Buch übermittelt, fand ich schön, da einiges dabei war, was auch mir sehr wichtig ist. z.B. Dass man sich mit einem bestimmten Thema immer selbst beschäftigen und auseinandersetzen sollte, anstatt alles blind zu glauben, was einem die Medien, Eltern, Verwandte, Freunde etc. weißmachen wollen. In Sachen Religion ist ihm vor allem wichtig, dass man mit Offenheit reagiert und in Dialog mitein ...more
This book is a combination memoir and study of Islam as a religion and lifestyle, as well as a history of the internet blogging that led up to the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and the movement know as Arab Spring. The author, Amir Nasr, was one of the original bloggers, writing as "Drima, the Sudanese Thinker."

Amir is an Arab-Sudanese who was brought up in Sudan, Qatar, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His blackness made him an outsider in the Arab Islamic world, but his Islamic instruction in
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: islamic
Just from reading this book I've learned so much about the Arab spring and my self. This was a very relatable book were I felt that the author was sincere and as confused is I am sometimes about islam. He explains islam in a way that no other other dared describe. Bit he also manage to explain why and how this wonderful religion turned upside down and became hard to understand not only by the West but by its own people.
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Nasr is a philosophical, self-absorbed 20 something, so sometimes I got bored. But to see someone try to explain how his thinking about truth and where Islam fit into truth and how that thinking changed, that was inspiring. Also liked the intimate glimpse into the life of those young Muslims that were blogging as change agents.
Amanda Dodge
Nov 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Nasr did a great job of tackling a complex subject in an engaging manner. He made it light enough to be readable but defended his points with serious research. There were times that I got bogged down in the technical and walked away from it for a bit, but most of the time I was cheering him on and thought it was incredibly relatable. I definitely recommend it.
Jackson  Key
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought-Provoking Urge to Defeat Dogmatism

Very good book. Elaborated on many themes that people will find familiar and relevant. Pragmatic outlook on avoiding the extremes in life.
Marco den Ouden
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a superb book for anyone wanting to understand Islam. See my full review here:
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Global Donnica
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great eye opener for those who choose to challenge and seek answers to questions...
Hina S
I left it un-rated.
Nidhal Guessoum
rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2015
Jaded Internet Critic #567
rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2013
rated it really liked it
Nov 09, 2016
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